Paul Singer, Austrian economist and tireless promoter of the solidarity economy in Brazil, has died at home in Sao Paulo aged 86 after suffering an infection.

Professor Singer, remembered by many Brazilians as one of the most brilliant intellectuals of his time, founded Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT), has published several books on the solidarity economy, and is a reference for studies on local development. He was awarded the Grand Order of Merit of the Republic of Austria in 2009 for his work.

Singer moved to Brazil in 1940 when he was eight years old. At 20, he worked as an electrotechnician, and was affiliated with the Metalworkers Union of São Paulo, taking part in the 300,000 strike that brought the city to a standstill in 1953. He graduated in Economics from the University of São Paulo (USP), where he also received his doctorate in Sociology, and became a free teacher in Demography, and a professor of Economics. As well as founding the PT in 1980, he was one of the founders of Cebrap (which brought together intellectuals against the military dictatorship), and of the Technological Incubator of Popular Co-operatives at USP.

From 2003 to 2016 he was National Secretary of Solidarity Economy, where he worked closely with the FBES (Foro Brasiliero de Economia Solidaria), and where he defended, alongside others, the creation of community banks as an instrument for the eradication of poverty.

More information, including links to Professor Singer’s work, can be found on RIPESS’s website –

Photo: Agência Brasil and RIPESS


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